Category Archives: music and food

Exciting summer news from 9 Chicago restaurants

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Chicago restaurants are full of ideas for making  summer-in-the-city  the most fun you can have with your clothes on. From huge deals – like Hard Rock’s 71-cent burger to picnics on the go to deals on magic, pasta meals, beer and wine – Chicago is one of the best summer cities in the world. Check a few of these out:

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One hour only! Hard Rock Cafe Chicago, 63 W. Ontario St., celebrates its 47th birthday on Wednesday, June 14, by serving an Original 1971 Legendary® Burger offer for just 71 cents. First-come, first-serve from 11am to noon. Beef patty with smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, a golden fried onion ring, crisp lettuce and vine ripened tomato, served on a toasted brioche bun with Hard Rock’s seasoned fries.

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Magic Night at Carnivale, 702 W. Fulton, June 14, 7-9:30pm. An unforgettable evening of mystery and laughter featuring the comedy and magic of Ken Mate. Ken performed on the NBC Special “The Worlds Greatest Magic.” He combines slick sleight of hand with the timing of a nightclub comic. $75 tickets include passed appetizers, tapas bar and magic. Carnivale is listed by Open Table as one of the top 100 nightspots in 2017.

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Picnic on-the-go. Columbus Tap, the inhouse restaurant of the Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park, 200 North Columbus Dr., is now offering a special Picnic-in-the-Park menu. Selections range from wine and cheese, a full dinner of charcuterie, chicken salad, wine and dessert, to an elegant champagne and chocolate dessert picnic. Blankets and folding chairs can also be rented for $10 each and orders can be placed online. And now Fairmont Chicago offers complimentary rickshaw tours for hotel guests through Millennium Park from June 1 – August 31.

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And speaking of picnics to go, Remington’s (20 N. Michigan Avenue), has launched its summertime curated Picnic-Baskets-To-Go, available for pick-up only at Remington’s, located directly across from The Bean. Attendees of the Grant Park Music Festival or Millennium Park Summer Film Series are encouraged to place orders 24 hours in advance. Customize your basket with artisanal meats and cheeses, hot and cold sandwiches and salads like the Italian SubShaved Prime RibWrightwood Salad, and Crab Louis, and snacks like Trout DipGuacamole and ChipsHummus and Pita, Grilled Artichokes, Housemade Coleslaw and Housemade Chips. Starting at $43 (repacks for only $28), picnic menu package orders come packed with everything you need, down to the wet naps. To view the full picnic menu, click here.

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Ravioli&Co, the new quick-service pasta and wine bar located on the first floor of Eataly, features three seasonal dishes and rotating daily specials priced under $15. Using pasta made fresh every morning by experts, dishes are prepared in real time while you watch at the Ravioli counter. Perfect for your work day lunch or quick healthy dinner fix during the week; available to dine-in and to-go. Optional Italian wine pairings available.

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AIRE, 100 W. Monroe, the hot rooftop bar on the 24th floor of Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago, is now featuring a pop-up grill from  Kuma’s Corner to offer guests a new food experience this summer. Now open for the 2018 season, come for the hand-crafted cocktails, seasonal, shareable plates, and local craft beers. Perfect for happy hour meals and group get-togethers. Kuma’s Corner will offer its Led Zepplin, Darkthrone, WASP, and Pig Destroyer burgers for $10 at AIRE on Saturdays from 4–9pm.

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Ballast Point Tasting Room & Kitchen open now at 212 N. Green St. in the West Loop. Hours: 11– 11pm (kitchen 11–10:30pm). The new brewpub comes to Chicago by way of Ballast Point Brewing Company®, a pioneer in the craft beer movement in San Diego with a 20-plus-year history of supporting the art of home brewing and developing high-quality, innovative, award-winning beer.

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DMK Restaurants’ newest venture, Fort Willow, 1721 N. Elston, is set in a reimagined childhood tree fort, drawing inspiration for chef-driven cocktails and rotating food specials from around the world. Right now they’ve launched a new series of “Big Bites,” special sandwich combinations with global roots, each version available for two weeks only. Hurry in now to try the “Classic” Big Bite, available until June 21. It combines gooey cheddar cheese, buttery Havarti and ramp pesto and is paired with a baked goat cheese and tomato “soup” – but let’s be honest, that soup is for dipping!

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River Roast, 315 N. LaSalle Street, in the heart of River North, announces its new, cool Reid Bar. The place by day specializes in coffee, cold press, tea and made-fresh-daily layered donuts. Then, in the evenings, Reid Bar transforms itself into a showcase for curated craft cocktail items that feature extraordinary spirits along with delectable bites. You’ll love the atmosphere.

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5 Chicago restaurants – Spring is here 2018

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What a view from Cafe Brauer

We’ve been saying “It’s spring” for too long. This time, it seems to have actually arrived. Not only is our fair city simply glowing with beautiful flowers and leaf buds, but outdoor spaces are opening everywhere – including a favorite of ours in Lincoln Park Zoo, The Patio at Cafe Brauer. It’s time to dig out your spring duds, bring a light jacket and get out there to enjoy some of the city’s great restaurant options. Here are a few more:

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Dos Toros announces the opening of its newest location at 300 S Wacker Drive, the 16th location overall, and second in Chicago for this SF Bay Area-inspired taqueria. Close to the Willis Tower and sitting on the Chicago river waterfront, this location provides an elevated (and scenic) fast-casual experience for taco and burrito lovers. Relax in the updated Dos Toros aesthetic of Heath tile, lighter wood finishes, abundant potted succulents, and rustic black & white photography inspired by the original California Dos Toros taquerias. Guests also enjoy cashless check-out and the brand-new “market vegetables” option that features a fresh mix of Butternut Squash, Tuscan Kale, Cremini mushrooms, and Shishito peppers sauteed in coconut oil.
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Epic Burger, with locations around Chicago, announces its 10th birthday celebration on Tuesday, May 22. Come enjoy 10 CENT BURGERS*** (single-patty beef burgers, while supplies last) and a special Epic Birthday Cake Shake featuring a Sweet Mandy B’s mini-burger cupcake shake-topper. Home of “A More Mindful Burger,” Epic Burger provides Chicagoans with sustainably sourced meats and produce, Halal certified beef and chicken, a revolutionary plant-based Beyond Burger, and more.
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***Available in-store only, 11am-9pm while supplies last, one per person, The $.10 Epic Birthday Burger includes the basic build-your-own toppings (lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, Epic Sauce) — additional toppings like premium Wisconsin cheeses, fresh avocado, nitrate-free bacon, or an organic fried egg, available at extra cost.***
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  • Lincoln Park bakery, Sweet Mandy B’s teams up for the special Epic Birthday Cake Shake. Comprised of birthday cake ice cream, strawberries and organic milk, topped with whipped cream, rainbow sprinkles and a so-cute-you-die mini burger cupcake, it’s  priced at $10 (in honor of turning 10!).
  • While you’re there on this one day only (5/22), Epic Burger will accept cash donations benefitting Growing Home, Chicago’s leading expert in farm-based training for people with employment barriers.
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Mother’s Day banana pancakes

Bistronomic840 N. Wabash, the contemporary bistro rooted in French culture in Chicago’s Gold Coast, will offer a special three-course, prix fixe brunch menu on Mother’s Day, Sunday May 13, for $42 per person or $56 per person with bottomless mimosas (for 1.5 hours) plus tax and gratuity. A $20 two-course menu will be available for children under the age of 10.

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Look for Paris-inspired dishes like Eggs Benedict with artisanal smoked salmon, poached eggs and lemon hollandaise; Asparagus & Seasonal Mushroom Omelette with farm eggs, capriole goat cheese and port wine reduction; Flat Iron Steak & Two Eggs with duck fat new potatoes, roasted garlic purée and a red wine reduction; andHomemade Pancakes with buttermilk and strawberry-rhubarb marmalade. For the full menu and reservations, visit Bistronomic’s website or call 312-944-8400.
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Intercontinental Hotel’s Hall of Lions

InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile, 505 N. Michigan, honors Chicago and its landmark property by hosting “Uncork the Archives,”  a monthly series of tours combining history, wine, and live music. The next installment is Wednesday, May 30, 6-8pm, and offers a sommelier-hosted tasting featuring wine, cheese and chocolate from ENO Wine Bar. Hillary Marzec, an expert guide and founder of Inside Chicago Walking Tours, leads guests on a tour highlighting the hidden secrets, famous guests, and historical and architectural features. Afterwars, continue the party back at ENO, with live jazz and swing music entertainment and a complimentary glass of wine. www.icchicagohotel.com $48/ticket here.

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Late December restaurant news in Chicago

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Love to learn about the specials some of our Chicago restaurants put together for the holidays. Fun. Festive. Food and drink to celebrate with. Check out these news bytes about 6 of them. And Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, etc. etc.

  1. Naoki Fried ChickenDecember 22nd & 23rd only. Naoki’s savory Japanese-style fried chicken, prepared by half or whole bird and served with Yuzo coleslaw, Roasted sweet potatoes and Teriyaki & Toban Jan dipping sauces. Available dine in or carry-out. To place an order or make a reservation, call 773-868-0002.
  2. Texas de Brazil, 210 E. Illinois, will open early on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve (11am to 9pm) with their full rodizio-style menu available all day, as well as Horseradish Crusted Ribeye (a special holiday item). Pricing for Chicago here and Schaumburg here. Closed on Christmas Day, but open regular hours with the regular menu on New Year’s Day.
  3. The Shelby, 2759 W. Augusta Blvd. (their website isn’t up yet but Google has reviews)  opened December 19. Open 5pm weeknights, and 11am Saturday and Sunday. Casual restaurant/bar with a hearty beer program, a full bar, and Chef (formerly with Haywood Tavern, Bite Cafe, Longman & Eagle, and Spiaggia) Rodney Staton-created snacks, salads, and a load-your-own burger and baked potato program.  Enjoy their no-bull approach to food, drink, socializing, and service in soulful, well-worn surroundings (denim upholstery, dark wood carpentry, whitewashed brick walls, and canary yellow stools), and with a soundtrack influenced by the Memphis music scene: Stax records artists, Sun records’ Big Star, Isaac Hayes, and The Grifters, to name a few.
  4. ENO Wine Room, 505 N. Michigan in the InterContinental Hotel, will be popping bubbles every hour to ring in 2018. Learn about ENO’s New Year’s Eve celebration here. If you’d rather celebrate at home, ENO’s General Manager and champagne expert, Amanda Herrell, suggests breaking out the bubbly bar yourself! Her beverage and food pairing recommendations include: Don’t feel pressured to serve only champagne! Other good dry bubbles: Crémant de Bourgogne, Cava, and Franciacorta. Sweeter  tasty bubbles: Lambrusco, Brachetto, and Moscato d’Asti. Pair them well! With dry bubbles, stick with rich triple cream cheese. The rich and decadent flavors will be complemented by the bubbles. For the sweeter bubbly drinks, indulge in foie gras mousse. The effervescence combined richness and the berry flavor of the wine will mesh well with the savory dish.
  5. Celebrate the New Year at Ceres Table, 3124 N. Broadway. Sunday, December 31 | 5:00pm – 11:00pm (reservation times) A special four-course, regional Italian meal, presented by Executive Chef Steven O’Neill. For $55/person (*Special: reservations before 6:30pm and after 10:30pm, only $45/person) guests will enjoy their choice of one dish per course from the complete menu.
  6. Lowcountry, 1132 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago’s premier boil-in-a-bag seafood destination announces a second location opening in the South Loop early 2018. At Lowcountry South Loop, the magic four steps remain the same: choose your protein, like snow crab legs, head-on shrimp, mussels and more, then choose a sauce, a spice level, and add-ons like corn, sausage, and potatoes. New boil combinations launch upon opening, and now you can get pre-set seafood bags built for one, two, three, or four people filled with a variety of shellfish and add-ons. Love the music on their website!
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Shaw’s Oyster Fest fun 2017 for TEN days!

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Shaws oyster fest 2017 lasts TEN days!

Shaw’s Crab House Oyster Fest, in its 29th annual celebration, is going all out. Shaw’s much-beloved downtown Oyster Bar is hosting a 10-day party from October 5th through the 15th. Enjoy all-day happy hours, dinners with award-winning oyster purveyors from around the country, special oyster dishes, and more.

EVERYDAY HAPPENINGS:

HAPPY HOUR DAILY.  Happy hour (usually 4 – 6pm) is now … ALL DAY!  Enjoy half off one east coast and one west coast oyster from open to close in the Oyster Bar!

POP-UP HAPPY HOURS: 50 CENT OYSTERS. In addition to the Oyster Fest Happy Hour specials, we will be offering surprise 50-cent oyster hours throughout the week that will be announced exclusively on social media (@shellyfromshaws) and the Shaw’s mobile club.

SLURP-OFF CONTESTS. Our famous slurp-off competitions will be taking place throughout the week. First round will take place at 6 p.m. on kickoff night, October 5. Or take your shot at the slurp-offs on Monday, October 9th, Tuesday, October 10, and Wednesday, October 11 at 6 p.m. The final will take place during the Grand Finale Event on October 15 with the winner taking away the title of Slurp-Off Winner and $1,000 in Shaw’s gift certificates.

LIVE MUSIC. Blues music will be happening every night of Oyster Fest from 7 to 10pm. in the Oyster Bar. View the band line-up here.

SPECIAL OYSTER-CENTRIC MENU.  Come in for special dishes for Oyster Fest including Po’boys, Baked & Grilled Oysters, Pan Roast Oysters, and our house specialty Buffalo Oysters to celebrate the oyster throughout the Shaw’s 10-day party run!

OTHER SPECIAL EVENTS INCLUDE:

Thursday, October 5: Tap Party with Haymarket Brewery. We’re kicking off Oyster Fest with a tap party in collaboration with Haymarket Brewery. We’re celebrating their first ever tap release outside of their Chicago-based brewery with a brand new Shaw’s beer, Lemon Rye-sing Saison, that was made to pair perfectly with fresh oysters.

Saturday, October 7, Sunday, October 8, Saturday, October 14, and Sunday, October 15: Shaw’s Oyster Fest Brunch. As the weekend draws near, consider indulging yourself with one of the restaurant’s fabulous Saturday or Sunday brunches. Many additional oyster offerings will be on the display at the Grand Shaw’s Buffet that has redefined brunch in Chicago.

Thursday, October 12: From Coast-to-Coast Dinner. Shaw’s and guest chef Leo Waldmeier, of the iconic Drake Hotel and Cape Cod Room, are welcoming oyster growers from each of the coasts to come together for the first ever Coast-to-Coast Dinner. This interactive, four-course dinner with wine pairings will feature Hama Hama, from Washington State- repping the west coast- and Island Creek, from Massachusetts- repping the east coast- along with Chef Waldmeier’s signature Bookbinder soup. The dinner is priced at $89 per guest (exclusive of tax & gratuity) and starts at 6:30 p.m. Buy your tickets here.

Sunday, October 15: Grand Finale. And you definitely don’t miss the Grand Finale Party on Sunday, October 15 from 4 to 10pm. This special ticketed event ($70 exclusive of tax & gratuity) features an over-the-top offering of classic Oyster Festival dishes, wine and beer favorites, specialty cocktails, an Oyster Roast in the Oyster Hall of Fame Room, live music from 4 to 10pm, and of course the oyster slurp-off finale! Tickets for the finale can be purchased here.

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Fall fun at 5 Chicago restaurants

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Music and good food at Petterino’s Monday Night Live

Petterino’s Monday Night Live (MNL), the impromptu musical showcase hosted by Denise McGowan Tracy and Beckie Menzie, starts celebrating its 10th anniversary Monday, September 25 at 7:30 p.m. Enjoy anniversary specials every Monday including $10/bottle wine specials plus a complimentary slice of birthday cake and champagne toast. Try the $19.95 prix fixe dinner menu and the special anniversary cocktail, or order from the regular menu.

September 25 – The SOLD OUT kick-off event promises appearances by old friends and new from the cabaret community in the impromptu format that has delighted crowds over the years
  • October 2 – Special guests from the cast of Billy Elliott at Porchlight Music Theatre
  • October 9 – Special performance to be announced
  • October 16 – Special guests from the cast of the regional theatre premiere of Fun Home at Victory Gardens Theater
Jake’s fries – or get ’em in the Street version!

Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap41 East Superior St.

  • The Return of Monday Night Football – Boulevard American Kolsch Pitchers are now $20. Share a pitcher or two with your favorite Jake’s wings. Read the whole deal HERE.
  • National Drink Beer Day September 28 – specials on 3 Sheeps Water Slides (Sheboygan, WI) and Goose Island OMG “Old Man Grumpy” (Chicago). Stay tuned for details on a special event!
  • Limited-time September dishes to try: 4 Cheese Cheeseburger with fries: Cheddar, Pepper Jack, Provolone and Spicy Parmesan Butter on a grilled ciabatta bun. Smoked Apple BBQ Wings: crispy jumbo wings tossed in Jake’s house made smoked apple bbq sauce. Chimichanga Time!: house-made creamy mac and cheese with smoked chicken in a flour tortilla , deep fried until crispy. Top with roasted serrano aioli and more.
Chiya Chai Indian Nepalese cuisine

Chiya Chai, 2770 N. Milwaukee in Logan Square – Chicago Reader’s Best Indian Restaurant – adds fall flavors to its house-brewed chai program:

  • Pecan Maple – Distinct flavors of nutty autumn pies with a toasty Chiya Chai sweetness.
  • Apple Pie – Reinterprets a seasonal dessert staple into a sippable fall classic.
  • Pumpkin Spice – Combines two classic fall flavors.
  • Pear and Ginger – A refreshing tea sweetened with pear notes with a ginger-driven edge.
Psst! Chiya Chai also has a secret full-service dining room that features world-class Indian and Nepalese cuisine. From-scratch fiery curries and and more in this vibrant dining room.
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Shaw’s Chicago Oyster Fest 2017 is 10 whole days long this year! Shaw’s annual fall time festival is kicking things off on Thursday, October 5th with a Tap Party with special guest, Haymarket Brewery. In honor of Oyster Fest, Haymarket has teamed up with Shaw’s for a beer collaboration, the very first time they’ve released a beer outside of their Chicago-based brewery. Named Lemon Rye-sing Saison, this brew pairs perfectly with fresh oysters and will officially debut the night of the Tap Party that starts at 4pm.
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The Patio at Cafe Brauer, 2021 N. Stockton Dr., celebrates fall with a special Harvest Dinner on Friday, October 13, 6 to 9pmLocally sourced ingredients, seasonal fruits, vegetables, whole roasts and wine under the harvest moon priced at $65 for adults and $30 for children. Think: Roasted Assorted Fall Squash and Pear Salad, Roasted Amish Chickens with Natural Au Jus and Charred Peach Trifle. Tickets here.
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4 Chicago places to eat and drink for September celebrations

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Sepia private dining decor

Sepia, 123 N. Jefferson St., over the years has become a popular venue for discerning Chicagoans celebrating milestones. Now, you are invited to celebrate a milestone with them – their 10th anniversary. From September 8 to 17, they will feature a special commemorative tasting menu, older-vintage wine pairings, and cocktail selections from among past stars of their acclaimed bar program. Book your reservation today on OpenTable or by calling 312-441-1920.

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Attention, beer lovers! Vice District Brewing in the South Loop is celebrating its 3rd anniversary over Labor Day weekend with three days of Beer and swag and music.
Thursday, Aug. 31, three breweries (Pollyanna, One Trick Pony and Twisted Hippo) will pour three of their own beers from 7 to 9:30pm. There will also be someone onsite to talk about each of the beers and to hand out some swag.
Friday, Sept. 1, Vice District will release a new beer in the Kitchen Sink Series, a Belgian Black IPA called Unforgivably Black.  Groove to Vibing with Vice, which features both old school and modern day hip hop music.
Saturday, Sept. 2, Vice District will open at 10 a.m. to kick off the first day as the official Iowa Hawkeyes game watch location for the South Loop. The party will also celebrate co-owner Curtis Tarver’s birthday and Vice District Brewing’s third anniversary.
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Bistronomic’s Riosh Hashanah menu

Bistronomic, 840 N. Wabash, is offering for Rosh Hashanah a special menu that features a delectable assortment of French-inspired dishes featuring seasonal, local and sustainable ingredients. From Wednesday, Sept. 20 through Friday, Sept. 22, enjoy a three-course, prix fixe menu for dinner from 5 to 10:30 p.m. for $39 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. Reservations are recommended and may be made via OpenTable on the website.

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Skydeck pizza PIe in the Skyk

Skydeck Chicago on the 99th and 103rd floors of Willis Tower, not only provides breathtaking views of 50 miles and 4 states, but also offers 3 different party packages:

1) Pie in the Sky VIP Dinner. Guests will essentially have the Skydeck to themselves with an exclusive dining experience at 10:30pm, after the after Skydeck Chicago closes to the public. At $100 per person, this three-course meal is catered by Giordano’s Pizza. Only nine reservations are available to ensure a VIP experience.
2) Pie in the Sky VIP Lunch. The Pie in the Sky VIP Lunch is the perfect way to close out summer. At $80 per person, guests can enjoy lunch at 12pm on the 99th floor, experiencing a spectacular view of four states. Pricing includes Fast Pass entry, a visit to the 103rd floor Ledge, and a three-course lunch. A maximum of ten reservations are available.
3) Breakfast in the Sky for those looking to elevate their brunch experience. Catered by The Metropolitan Club at $125 per person, breakfast is available Monday through Friday. A full menu is available here.
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3 Chicago restaurants with news now

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English: Cafe Brauer also called South Pond Re...
English: Cafe Brauer also called South Pond Refectory is a National Historic Place in Lincoln Park Chicago. It is currently run by the Lincoln Park Zoological Society (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Patio at Café Brauer’s Dog Days of Summer event on Sunday, July 23. Bring your pooch to the Lincoln Park Zoo’s al fresco restaurant and bar, overlooking the zoo’s scenic Nature Boardwalk, for a fun brunch fit for both you and your pup. There will be goody bags for the dogs and a kiddie pool available for the pups. And Cafe Brauer is a lovely place to enjoy the view and sip a glass of wine or a cocktail with your lunch or snack.

English: Lollapalooza 2011 in Grant Park - Chi...
English: Lollapalooza 2011 in Grant Park – Chicago, Illinois (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

South Water Kitchen, 225 N. Wabash. This August 3-6, 2017, tens of thousands of music fans will blanket the streets for the Lollapalooza music festival. Just steps from Grant Park and adjacent to Hotel Monaco, South Water Kitchen is catering to thirsty festival-goers by offering $5 draft craft beers to patrons wearing Lollapalooza wristbands, open to close, ThursdaySunday.  Their draft selection, regularly ranging from $8-$9, includes eight hand-selected craft brews, such as Stone Brewing’s “Tangerine Express IPA,” 3 Floyds’ “Alpha King” and more (limit 2 pp).

T&B Grill’s Taco Tuesday trio special – plus dessert

If you’re anywhere near Albany Park and you’re hungry, do not fail to check out T&B Grill, 3658 W. Lawrence Ave. Consider the Taco Tuesday special of any three tacos and a dessert for $13.99. Choose from these unique options, all of which are served with homemade cilantro and jalapeño tortillas.

  • T&B Taco with spicy shrimp, habañero aioli and garlic cilantro lime slaw;
  • Duck Taco made with duck leg confit and ancho pepper, guajillo aioli, pickled cabbage and carrots;
  • Fish Taco with grilled fish, pico de gallo, jalapeño lime aioli, black sesame seeds, pickled cabbage and ancho chile peppers;
  • Chorizo Taco with homemade crispy chorizo, pico de gallo, sliced avocado and chipotle aioli;
  • Pork Belly Taco served with pineapple habañero pico de gallo, and garnished with grilled pineapple and habañero aioli; and
  • Grilled Veggie Taco with black beans, sweet corn, yellow squash, zucchini and red onions served with roasted tomatillo salsa.

On Friday and Saturday T&B’s BYO Margarita Bar lets you BYOB and mix with one of their housemade drink mixes: margarita (lime), mojito (mint), blackberry basil, strawberry rosemary or fresh orange juice. $3.50 per glass or $10 per half carafe. margarita (lime), mojito (mint), blackberry basil, strawberry rosemary or fresh orange juice.

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Pre-summer food, music and wine

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Pre-summer blooms off Michigan Ave.

Summer is at hand, people. No reason not to start right now enjoying the music, food and fun that are always on offer throughout our great city from spring through late fall. Here are a few opportunities to get you rolling…

Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival, on Sheffield from Belmont to Roscoe St. Sun. May 27 – Mon. May 28, 2017 – noon to 10pm.  And don’t fail to check out Trader Todd’s karaoke stage and contest – try out for best singer and look forward  to the award ceremonies in June at Trader Todd’s tiki bar, 3216 N. Sheffield. Check out our review on Trader Todd’s brunch here.
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Happy 40thbirthday, Potbelly! Thursday, June 1, they’re giving a $40,000 donation to One Summer Chicago. Check out the limited-time Potbelly birthday menu items,  and enjoy 40% off Originals sandwiches in-shop at Potbelly nationwide between 11am-3pm. Find your nearest Chicago Potbelly location and go enjoy.
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Dog-friendly, burger/beer specials. Burger + Beer promotion at The Patio at Café Brauer. From May 26 – May 29, get a juicy, succulent burger and a domestic beer for $15.95 all Memorial Day weekend. Read our rave review of Cafe Brauer here.
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English: Band shell in Millennium Park by Fran...
English: Band shell in Millennium Park by Frank Gehry – Pritzker, from across Michigan Avenue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Music at Pritzker Pavillion. Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer – two weeks before the Grant Park Music Festival season begins. To celebrate, order a One Night Pass and get a reserved seat close to the stage for any Festival concert at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. And when you order online this weekend, you’ll save 25% on select seats for any concert in June! Use promo code MEMORIAL when you order online at gpmf.org. Offer expires Monday,  May 29 at 11:59 PM. Or,  explore our entire 2017 season. Choose any four concerts (excluding Beethoven Symphony No. 9 on August 18 and 19) with a Choose Your Own membership and we’ll add the Festival’s Independence Day Salute as our way of saying thank you.

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Rich and rewarding Black Stallion Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

For home barbeques or hostess gifts, consider one of these excellent wines from Black Stallion Estate Vineyards. Black Stallion Chardonnay 2015, Black Stallion Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, and Black Stallion Sauvignon Blanc 2015 are deliciously complex and rich tasting. Perfect companions to grilled shrimp or lobster, super-marbled steak cooked a pointe on the grill, and any favorite traditional accompaniments like mustard potato salad, veggie pastasauteed fresh garlic asparagus or superb sauteed mushrooms.  Get your Black Stallion wines from these Chicago area retailers: SavWay Wine & Spirits, Garfield’s Beverage Warehouse, Sunset Foods, Woodman’s, Heinen’s, or talk to your friendly Binny’s folks.

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And if you’re into  higher-end wines, here’s a list of special Black Stallion wines that have garnered serious recognition lately:

  • Wine & Spirits magazine “100 Best Buys of the Year” – 2013 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: 92 Points
  • James Suckling’s list of “Top 100 Reds of Napa Valley 2016” – 2013 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: 93 Points
  • Decanter: 2013 Barrel Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: Highly recommended, 91 pts; 2013 Transcendent Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon; Highly recommended, 91 pts;  2013 Gaspare Estate Vineyard, Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: Highly recommended, 90 pts; 2013 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: Highly recommended, 90 pts;
  • Wine Enthusiast: 2013 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: 90 pts; 2014 Los Carneros Pinot Noir: 90 pts
  • Robert M. Parker, Jr. / Wine Advocate (Barrel samples): 2014 Bucephalus Red Blend: (91-93); 2014 Barrel Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: (90-92); 2014 Transcendent Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: (90-92)
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